A movie and a book

I got books for Christmas.

Glory, glory hallelujah.

I was in serious need of some new books to read, let me tell you.

And with nursing time + time holding Maddy while she's sleeping, I've actually had time to read!

More glory, glory hallelujah!

Also...Redbox. The final glory, glory hallelujah is inspired by this one word.

It just so happened that I watched a Redbox movie AND finished a book this weekend. Whoa.

So...do you want the good news or the bad news first?

I don't know who would want the good news first. Ending on a bad note? That doesn't really make sense to me.

So, the bad news first. The movie.

Man, I was hopeful for this movie. I remember wanting to see it when it first came out, after I saw the preview. And I feel like I've heard a lot of good things about it from several different people. So when I was the annoying person at the Redbox machine who had no idea what movie I was getting, I saw this one and went for it.

Not what I was expecting. Depressing. Oh, so depressing.

For those of you who don't know, The Soloist is about an LA Times reporter, who, desperate for a story, writes about a homeless man he hears playing the violin on the street. Turns out, Nathaniel (the homeless man) had attended Julliard for showing amazing promise on the cello, but fell behind and eventually dropped out because he started having serious mental issues. The reporter's articles about Nathaniel open LA's eyes to what life is like for the homeless in their city.

Unfortunately, I felt like the movie focused way too much on the negative. By the time we were supposed to be getting something even remotely inspiring or uplifting, I was too depressed. The messages didn't really balance each other out anyway; the positive aspect of the reporter's sort of change of heart (even though he never really seemed like a jerk or anything) was not enough to offset the thousands of homeless, troubled souls.

In short, I felt like no one really changed, and nothing was really accomplished. Is that reality? Maybe. But it does not make a good movie. In my humble opinion...fail.

And now for some good news! I finished this book this weekend:

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

Yes. Yes, yes, yes.

I realize that any avid readers out there have very likely already read this book, since it got all kinds of acclamation and stuff when it came out a few years ago, but you know what? I just barely read it. So lay off me and let me give you a brief summary of why I think this book is composed of awesomeness. I love the idea of bullet points here. Let's roll with it:
  • Extremely well written. No trite phrases (*cough*TWILIGHT*cough*). 800+ pages seemed like much fewer.
  • Clever! Written like a mock history, complete with footnotes.
  • Original. Puts a mature spin on the "magician" thing.
  • 100% clean. Let's face it...that's not too common these days.
  • Just a little bit eerie. Not in an "I'm horrified and need to sleep with the lights on for a week" kind of way, but more of like a "Whoa that's kind of creepy in a mystical sort of way" way. More Harry Potter book 6 than Stephen King. That's a good thing, I think.
It was really just all around enjoyable to read! I highly recommend it. Yes, it is pretty long...but I wouldn't let that deter you! Like I said, it goes by fast. And you'll feel oh so accomplished at the end.

So, up next for me is Stockett's The Help. I'm anxious to see what all the hype is about on this one. Don't worry, I'll be sure to let you know what I think of it...just in case you, you know, care.

So...what have you read/watched lately, hm?